no matter how much you make this month make sure you spend at least a penny less (though of course he would say it in Soviet currency)
Despite a lack of any real education, my grandfather built a very successful Soviet equivalent of a corner store. The store became so successful that it drew the attention of the Soviet leader at the time, Joseph Stalin. Stalin was attempting to revolutionize the economy into one totally dependent on him. As such, anyone successful on their own was someone that became a threat.
As such, Stalin sent in his henchman into my grandfather's village and arrested him on the spot. Charges were trumped up and my grandfather spent the better part of the next two decades in a Soviet gulag. He eventually lost part of his leg and the success that he built was eventually destroyed.
The 14th amendment was initially created to rid the country of the evil of slavery.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Over the last nearly two centuries however, it has evolved into an amendment meant to protect Americans from the kind of tactics that Stalin used against my grandfather. The amendment means that every American is treated the exact same by the law as any other American.
Now, look at what the Congress is trying to do with the bonuses given to AIG employees. There was public outcry over these bonuses so the Congress is trying to punish everyone that received a bonus with a 90% tax. Now, on most levels the Congress is trying to do exactly what Stalin did. They are isolating certain Americans and punishing them in a way that other Americans would never be punished.
Sure, the people that are being punished likely deserve no sympathy. In fact, that's when the 14th amendment is most important. No politician would ever isolate and target a group that is sympathetic. It is those groups that are easily demonized that are most in need of the protection that the 14th amendment provides. By proposing this onerous tax that targets and isolates certain Americans the Congress perverts everything that the 14 amendment stands for.
I am no Constitutional scholar and so I won't speak to whether or not this bill is or is not Constitutional. I can however say that it in every way perverts the spirit, if not necessarily the letter, of the 14 amendment. While it may appease our populist sentiments, it also perverts everything this country should stand for.